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estate planning Archives

Barring one from illegally profiting from another's estate

Saint Charles residents are encouraged to be transparent in their estate planning. Yet what happens if that transparency puts them in danger. You might dismiss the idea of a beneficiary killing their potential benefactor in order to receive their money to simply be the imaginings of storytellers. Our team here at Stephen A. Martin Attorney at Law can tell you, however, that the potential is real enough that the state has address the issue through legislation. 

Should I update my estate plan?

When's the last time you've looked at your will? If it's been a while, or you've recently undergone some significant life changes, it's time to review your estate plan to ensure it still meets your needs. Forbes explains when you must update your will so it continues to protect your assets and ensure your family receives them as you see fit after you're gone. 

Determining parentage for intestate succession

The process of intestate succession (and the guidelines governing it) have been detailed on this blog in the past. As the child of one who dies without a will, you have the right to inherit a portion of your parent's assets. Yet oftentimes clients come to see members of our team here at Stephen A. Martin Attorney at Law when the issue of establishing parentage arises. This may seem a simple enough task; simply identify a decedent's issue (their direct descendants). Yet what if you are not the biological child of a decedent, your parents were unwed? Are you still entitled to inherit assets under the state's intestate succession guidelines? 

Settling an estate's debts

Some in Saint Charles might mistakenly believe that once one dies, all of their debts are resolved. Yet that is not the case. Were a decedent still alive, the funds used to pay their debts would be taken from their personal assets. Upon their death, those assets become their estate. Thus, any debts that are owed now must be paid from the estate. As one's executor or personal representative is tasked with managing their estate, the job of allocating estate assets to pay off their debts falls to that party. Since msn.com reports that the average American has $61,000 of debt when they die, those asked to serve in the aforementioned role should be familiar with their debt resolution options. 

Considerations for choosing a guardian of your child

Most people in Missouri who have children dream of and expect that they will live to see their children grow up and that they will even get to experience the joys of becoming grandparents someday. While this is the most common scenario and the one most likely to the chances of probability, it is certainly not what always happens. Illnesses and accidents can and do happen, leaving children suddenly without their parents. In these situations, having a prenamed guardian ready to step in can go a long way toward providing the emotional support kids need.

Reviewing your options when it comes to trusts

If you have decided to create an estate plan, this could be a very important move that not only helps protect your assets but makes things easier for your loved ones in the future. However, there may be a lot of different options in front of you and you could be unsure of which type of trust is best. In this post, we will briefly cover some of the different trusts that people set up, and it is important to find one that will suit your needs best. Once you have figured out which type of trust makes the most sense, you can take important steps to ensure that your estate will be managed properly.

When your spouse objects to creating an estate plan

Setting up an estate plan can be tricky for different reasons, whether you have difficulty naming beneficiaries or even deciding which type of estate plan you should go with. In some instances, people may even have uncertainty about the very idea of creating an estate plan, or their spouse may disagree with this decision. It is important to approach the estate planning process carefully, and you should discuss relevant matters with your spouse if they will be included in your estate plan.

What is a charitable trust?

If giving back to your Missouri community, such as your church, library, favorite charity, etc., makes up a large part of your life, you may want to establish a charitable trust so you can donate to this organization in a more structured way. The same may hold true for your alma mater or other worthwhile organization.

Late singer's heirs seek to administer his estate

In certain estate cases, administration may go far beyond simply detailing who gets what asset immediately after a testator's death. For those estates in Saint Charles that count artistic or intellectual properties amongst their assets, their management may extend for decades. This is something that one should consider when selecting an executor or personal representative. The role could potentially outlive the one it is assigned to, in which case a testator would want to detail the process for which a new executor would be selected. 

Types of special needs trusts

Missouri residents who have a child with some type of disability that will require special care for the life of that child will want to pay close attention to their options when making an estate plan. As explained by Kiplinger, a special needs trust is one of the vehicles that may provide good options for families in this situation. 

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